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Travel Tips

Finding a Great Last Minute Cruise
By:Catriona Robertson

In the current economic climate a holiday can take its toll on your purse strings and leave you longing for your next pay day with fervent vigour. But it really doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of bargains to be had if you know where to look for them and how to tweak them to your circumstances.

Anyone looking to book a holiday this summer might be interested in a last minute cruise deal. Cruises are the perfect way to see the world, relax and enjoy some time out from the hustle and bustle of life. A last minute cruise deal is defined as one booked anywhere between a few months to a few days in advance of departure and you can usually make huge savings on the regular ticket price. Cruise operators hate nothing more than sailing with empty cabins so they’re always very keen to sell tickets. The internet provides the perfect forum for finding great deals, and a bargainous summer holiday could be but a click away!

The first thing to do when you’ve chosen a cruise you might be interested in is to check when it is due to set sail. Most operators have a cut-off point at which existing passengers are able to cancel their bookings. This is usually 60 or 90 days before departure, so shopping for last minute cruise deals around this time is perfect.

If possible, you should look for cruises off season as they’re generally much cheaper because there’s less demand for tickets. Travelling outside of school vacation times can be beneficial, though obviously if you have children you may need a different approach. You need to be completely flexible if you’re going down the last minute cruise deal route and be in a position to take time off work at the drop of a hat. You should also be willing to accept what’s on offer – you may not get a premium cabin or a prime dining position if you book last minute. Try not to have an ideal specification in mind and you should be able to gain as much enjoyment out of your trip as possible.

Finally, think about repositioning cruises. In basic terms, cruise operators sail their ships to different destinations depending on the season – most people wouldn’t want to sail the fjords in the bleak midwinter! Passengers are invited aboard to enjoy all the perks of a cruise, just with fewer port calls. These journeys usually last a little longer than a normal cruise, say two weeks rather than seven days. They don’t tend to be advertised very often, but if you know where to look, they can be a really great way to holiday. Bear in mind that you’ll be at sea for longer than normal however and will have to pay the airfare back from your final destination, though even with this included, you can generally save quite a lot with a repositioning cruise.

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